Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Wonderful World of Maternity: Part 2

Ok, this is it. The main fashion perk of being pregnant...

Part 2: Stretch, plus how to minimize spending and a little philosophizing

Stretchy Waistbands

Ahhh, the golden savior of all pregnant women. When retailers figured out that they could put a stretchy band on top of pants and skirts or whatever and pregnant women could wear normal looking bottoms, the angels sang. The stretchy waist comes in two varieties, as one friend puts it, you must first decide if you are going "Texas or Florida" with your pants.

In this case, "Texas" is a lower, usually thicker stretchy band that rests below your belly as it grows, as opposed to the "Florida" which is a large, thinner, panel which goes over the belly, generally resting somewhere near your bra strap. I've found that many of the Florida is popular on dress pants and generally anything made by Pea in the Pod, whereas Texas is the media of choice for Target and Topshop. I have pants in both, and like both for different reasons. Sometimes the Texas variety can be a little binding, especially on days when I feel like my entire body has grown exponentially overnight (oh, yeah, that happens), but wearing a stretchy panel that comes to your armpits can be a little sausage-esque.

Repurposing, Plus a Little Personal Philosophy

This gets a little tricky. Part of this will depend on what you already have in your closet. If you are like me and wholeheartedly/bothfistedly embraced tent dresses, you are kind of set. However, I recognize that most people did not think this was the greatest fashion revolution since the zipper and therefore do not have an archive of poofy dresses at your disposal.

Throughout the first and most of the second trimester, I was able to get away with very little actual maternity clothes, thanks to an empire waisted J. Crew shirt, my Bella Band and thin long layering tees. I am also a big fan of cardigans, so I wore those over t-shirts and just tried to accessorize the crap out of everything so people wouldn't notice that I'd worn the same pants three days in a row.

My philosophy on maternity fashion was mostly: buy things that will last me throughout the entire 40 weeks and after, and buy as little as possible that is maternity specific. For me, this meant buying one pair of maternity dress pants for work, two pencil skirts, two t-shirts, one long sleeved shirt, and five sleeveless shirts (three of which are white tank tops). This isn't to say that I won't buy a few more things before this whole thing is over and I was lucky enough to be pregnant over the summer and to work from home during most of the third trimester when things might get freaky big over here.

Also, cotton jersey is pretty much God's gift to pregnant women.

I had a dress from Banana Republic that was at least five seasons old that looks better now that I'm packing a belly. I also picked up a J. Crew jersey dress and a maxi-dress from Ginger in Bethesda. Seriously, I wear these dresses non-stop in a constant looping rotation. I'm like the playlist on a Ryan Seacrest radio show.

So, before you run out to the maternity store in a panic (because I did) at the first sign of a bump, really go through your closet and try everything on and keep doing this throughout the pregnancy.

Coming soon! Store recommendations!


MrsKinne said...

This is so good to know!

Mr. Kinne and I are considering babies in the near future, and I was hoping that I wouldn't have to, you know, sell my firstborn to afford maternity clothes.

DC Celine said...

I've been a slacker in reading blogs lately (as I mentioned on my slacker apology post) I had NO IDEA. congratulations! this is wonderful.

and yes, you will run screaming to the maternity store in a fit of "i can't wear those same 3 tshirts for another minute let alone the last week of my pregnancy." 'cause i did. both times.

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